Show us your cosmetic mods/upgrades to your vintage audio gear

Discussion in 'Solid State' started by myu701, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. myu701

    myu701 Vintage futurist

    Sometimes a piece of audio gear is lacking in some aesthetic way for your personal tastes. Maybe it's a model that had optional wooden sides and yours didn't come with any, and so you decided to fashion or procure your own custom version. Whatever it is, if you've made some cosmetic improvements to your vintage audio gear, please post pics! :)

    Alas, I've not done any yet myself, so I can't contribute. Please forgive me. :eek:
  2. markw300d

    markw300d Super Member

    This is timely and a great thread subject :thmbsp:

    I wasn't going to post this until I finished these this week but I'm about done with my DLK 2 restore. The black foam grills were starting to deteriorate and the Masonite backing was warped. I don't care for foam anyway so I ordered a half yard of burgundy cloth from Speakerworks. This cloth is more open and nicer than anything our JoAnn's had. Speakerworks did me right too. It was 22" wide instead of the 18" I paid for which made it easier to work with on the 14" wide frames. It was my first time making grills and given that, they turned out great I think. The color goes great with my woodwork and sage green walls. I moved the badge to the center too. I'll post a bit more in my restore thread but I had to post this here because at first I was wondering how "original" I should keep things but I'm very pleased with the change now.


    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  3. ictwoody

    ictwoody If you're reading this, you're an audiophile. Subscriber

    Here's a little Kenwood KA-3500 that had some surface rust on the case and got a little damage in shipping from a careless seller. I had the case powder coated Persimmon Orange. It matches the wall at my shop.

  4. Rob41

    Rob41 Don't stop believin'

    Wow, that orange looks pretty cool. Nice job.

    Really nice job on the speakers Mark!
  5. Celt

    Celt Space Doggy Super Mod Subscriber

    Most folks are probably tired of seeing this pic, but I dressed up my 1210 TT with a walnut base from KAB. Transformed it from "meh" to "hey!" imo.
    Paul (Thedelihaus) made the Technics logo for me.

  6. markw300d

    markw300d Super Member

    Thanks! I was a bit nervous about the task at first but a little research in the archives built my confidence up and I enjoyed making them.

    Wow that amp looks like in belongs in a garage with a 1970 Hemi Barracuda or something. That looks great!

    That's a classy looking turntable, Celt. It's amazing how much little details like making a logo badge (or moving one in my case) add to the project.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011
  7. jchouston

    jchouston Well-Known Member

    The burgundy on those grills look nice.

    And that orange on that Kenwood is just CANDY.
  8. tmccullough

    tmccullough You are who, who you are

    Maybe this is what I need for my 1100?! Make a nice, deep plinth, with a couple inches of sand in it.... Hrm....
  9. myu701

    myu701 Vintage futurist

    Nice grill work there, Mark. :) And wow, super transformation of your turntable, Celt. :thmbsp:

    I've seen a few receivers and amps with "wooden" sides, but usually with a vinyl imitation of wood veneer. Eventually I'd like to make a few, one set of an Onkyo Receiver, and one for a Sansui AU-719 to make it look a little more like an AU-D907.
  10. melofelo

    melofelo Addicted Member

    that orange looks waay cool next to the silver :thmbsp:
  11. baniels

    baniels New Member

  12. ictwoody

    ictwoody If you're reading this, you're an audiophile. Subscriber

    That looks sweet!!! What are your speakers? Kits? Homebuilt?

    - Woody
  13. mcyuke

    mcyuke New Member

    I love that orange!

    Some great looking stuff here guys.

    I had an idea of removing the uneven backlighting on some of this older stuff and replacing it with an LED strip that would provide a nice even glow to the tuner.

    I also thought it would be nice to replace the older terminals with newer stuff along with adding some additional cooling in the form of additional heatsinks/low noise fans.

    I come from a computer building, modifying and overclocking background so there are lots of ideas I have that could be applied to this type of stuff.

    For example I've always wanted to build a nice wooden case for my home theatre PC, and now that I've been seeing all these beautiful old receivers and amps lately I think a wooden sided case with a nice silver front would be pretty cool!
  14. RamblinE

    RamblinE [un/jerk]

    Dan, that base looks great. I'm working on building something similar out of cherry for my Gemini PT-2000 (SL1200 mk2 copy).

    Great looking Overnight Sensations!

    A KA-5700 was my first amp. I'll have to show this to the friend I gave it to and see if I can inspire him into doing some DIY :)

    My DIY to date:



  15. baniels

    baniels New Member

    ^^ He's right. These are Overnight Sensations. Designer's page - few more pics of mine.
  16. rat fink

    rat fink has got the funk

    Great stuff! The 1210 is a stunner and I love the Kenwoods. I have a Kenwood that looks like that sitting out the Garage, and I haven't thought about it in years. Well, guess who's putting on their shoes to out to the garage right now...
  17. Arkay

    Arkay Lunatic Member

    No pics to share yet, but I've been toying with ideas for some "steampunk" (for lack of a better term) cases. I started with an easy project, a "dim bulb tester" using vintage bakelite bulb sockets and switches on a wooden base with brass trimmings. Looks almost like something from Frankenstein's lab, but classier. Have the idea of going further along with other gear, but haven't got to it yet.

    One idea is to reverse-engineer the schematics from an old toy "gun" that has a keyboard input like a telephone dial. It allows you to input a 3-digit number (999 different inputs!) that somehow affect sine waves to create various "sci fi" sounds. It basically is a kind of simple synthesizer that creates every sound effect you've ever heard in an old sci-fi movie, from ray-guns to alien spaceship sounds, except for those made by theramins. I'd love to put that in a vintage-style "lab gear" prob casing with lots of switches and lights and such... not exactly hi-fi gear, but sound-related and fun! But first I have to figure out the circuitry, without destroying my existing (rare) toy gun in the process!
  18. just dave

    just dave vintage rules!

    Hitachi sr-2004 Blue leds on the meters and soft white leds on the tuning dial.

    Attached Files:

  19. w1jim

    w1jim I can fix it but good... Subscriber

    Three years ago I picked up a Denon DP-60L turntable that had chips on the edges of the plinth.
    I attached some aluminum angle stock to clean it up - -a good save:

  20. Mrppv

    Mrppv Active Member

    That looks great... really mod, and works so well with the silver. That could be a niche business; custom color on restored vintage components.

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